The British Academy Film Awards turned into a coronation for “The King’s Speech” at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday evening.
Helmer Tom Hooper’s pic won seven prizes, nabbing best film, actor for Colin Firth, supporting actor and supporting actress for Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, respectively, original screenplay for David Seidler, music for Alexandre Desplat and outstanding British film.
Firth’s win for actor got the biggest ovation of the night.
“I like it here,” he said, a year after taking the same prize for “A Single Man.”
But the regal drama didn’t have everything its own way. David Fincher received the director nod for “The Social Network,” which also nabbed adapted screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and an editing prize.
Natalie Portman took home the actress prize for “Black Swan,” but was unable to make the trip to London because of her pregnancy.
“Inception” won three prizes: special visual effects, production and sound. “Alice in Wonderland” won for makeup and hair and costume design, while “True Grit” nabbed the cinematography plaudit.
Other nominated British movies such as “127 Hours” and “Another Year” went homr empty-handed, as did Hollywood’s “The Fighter” and “The Kids Are All Right.”
“The King’s Speech” became the first movie to win best film and outstanding British film since the Brit award was reintroduced in 1993. It also equaled “Slumdog Millionaire’s” 2009 BAFTA haul — and has overtaken that film at the box office to become the highest-grossing U.K. independent film of all time, with £31.7 ($50.7 million) as of Friday.
Bonham Carter was a popular hometown winner for supporting actress. “I’m so used to losing, it’s a strange feeling to win,” she said. “It feels nice but, kids, if you’re watching, it’s not all about the winning.”
Calling Harvey Weinstein “my fairy nomination godfather,” Bonham Carter’s lengthy and witty thank-yous included a suggestion that Rush should have won supporting actress because of his devotion to Firth. She concluded by dedicating the award to “all the supporting wives everywhere.”
Rush wasn’t present to accept his supporting actor award because he was onstage in New York.
Accepting the original screenplay award, Seidler said, “For a stammerer to be heard is a wonderful thing.”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” won the prize for film not in the English language.
The award for outstanding British debut went to Chris Morris for directing “Four Lions.” Morris was absent, but sent a text to the actors accepting on his behalf, declaring himself “doused in petrol, Zippo at the ready” — a reference to the suicide bombers of his film.
Tim Burton presented Christopher Lee with the BAFTA Fellowship.
Stephen Fry presented the “Harry Potter” franchise with the award for outstanding contribution to British cinema. It was accepted by producer David Heyman and author J.K. Rowling, with “Potter” directors Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates joining them onstage.
Rowling said, “It’s very strange to look back after seven films and remember how wary I was about letting anyone put my books on the screen.”
Full list of winners:
Best film: “The King’s Speech.”
Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network.”
Leading actress: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan.”
Leading actor: Colin Firth “The King’s Speech.”
Adapted screenplay: “The Social Network,” Aaron Sorkin.
Cinematography: “True Grit,” Roger Deakins.
Animated film: “Toy Story 3,” Lee Unkrich.
Outstanding British film: “The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper, David Seidler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin.
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: “Four Lions,” director/writer Chris Morris.
Supporting actress: Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech.”
Supporting actor: Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech.”
Original screenplay: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech.”
Original music: Alexadre Desplat, “The King’s Speech.”
Costume design: “Alice in Wonderland,” Colleen Atwood.
Makeup and hair: “Alice in Wonderland,” Valli O’Reilly, Paul Gooch.
Production design: “Inception,” Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Doug Mowat.
Special visual effects: “Inception,” Chris Corbould, Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Peter Bebb.
Film not in the English Language: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Søren Staermose, Niels Arden Oplev.
Editing: “The Social Network,” Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter.
Sound: “Inception,” Richard King, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, Ed Novick.